National Museum of Women in the Arts
Lu Ann Tafoya
July 26 1938 - present
Photograph of Lu Ann Tafoya, courtesy of the artist. (c) Lu Ann Tafoya, 2006
Place of Birth:
Santa Clara Pueblo
Phonetic Spelling:
loo an tah-FOY-yah
Minority status:
Native American
Native American Tribe:
Work Type/Media:
Decorative and utilitarian works
Artistic Role(s):
Traditional Art
Artist's Statement:
I enjoy what I am doing. Working with my hands keeps me busy, and if I am not busy I don’t enjoy myself. When I sit down to work on my pottery I sit for hours until I reach a good stopping point, but I like it. I learned how to make pottery by watching my mother, who only instructed me on polishing. When my mom asked me to help her polish, I was excited and polishing has been my favorite part of the process since. I like the challenge that art creates. I am able to form the clay to reach new heights, literally and creatively; I push myself to create something new. I make the forms and designs my mother used, as well as other traditional images, but I also create new designs and incorporate new forms that interest me. I am fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I love to do. I will make pottery wherever I am in life because it has become my life.

Statement courtesy of Lu Ann Tafoya

Place(s) of Residence:
Colorado Springs
Place(s) of Activity:
Where Trained/Schools:
Private lessons
Related Visual Artists:
granddaughter of Sara Fina Tafoya granddaughter of Jose Geronimo Tafoya great-niece of Santana Tafoya daughter of Margaret Tafoya daughter of Alcario Tafoya niece of Tomasita Tafoya niece of Camilio Tafoya niece of Agapita Tafoya niece of Christina Naranjo sister of Virginia Ebelacker sister of Lee Tafoya sister-in-law of Betty Tafoya sister of Jennie Trammel sister of Mela Youngblood sister of Toni Roller sister of Mary Esther Archuleta sister of Shirley Tafoya aunt of Nancy Youngblood aunt of Nathan Youngblood aunt of Cliff Roller aunt of Jeff Roller aunt of Linda Tafoya Oyenque cousin of Grace Medicine Flower cousin of Joseph Lonewolf cousin of Rosemary Lonewolf cousin of Greg Lonewolf cousin of Susan Romero cousin of Teresita Naranjo cousin of Stella Tafoya Chavarria cousin of Denise Chavarria cousin of Mary Cain cousin of Tina Diaz cousin of Linda Cain cousin of Tammy Garcia cousin of Mida Tafoya
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Best in Show, Santa Fe Indian Market, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA (2003) Best in Show (Traditional Pottery), Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show, Española, NM, USA (1999) Jack Hoover Memorial Award, Santa Fe Indian Market, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA (1985)
Earliest exhibition:
Seven Families in Pueblo Pottery, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque, NM, USA (1974)
NMWA exhibition(s):
The Legacy of Generations: Pottery by American Indian Women
American Indian Pottery from the Collection
Jar with Bear-Paw Imprint, 1996
Jar with Bear-Paw Imprint